Summer in Baton Rouge

IMG_0723Meet Reem Al-Juriad, a first-year student in the Masters of Higher Education Administration program. She is currently serves as a graduate assistant in the office of Student Advocacy & Accountability. Reem earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Louisiana State University in May 2014. Her hometown is Mandeville, Louisiana and loves all that the boot has to offer!

Summertime in Baton Rouge is a wonderful chance to explore the city without the hour-long traffic delays. One of my favorite activities is exploring downtown Baton Rouge. Saturday mornings at the Main Street farmer’s markets are filled with local vendors all selling BR favorites from fruits and veggies to sweet treats.IMG_2419 If you get there early, take a tour of the capital and walk up the steps to the top to see the beauty of Baton Rouge. You can also tour the old governor’s mansion and learn some history of the capital. The best place for coffee any day of the week (except Sundays because they are closed) is Magpie Coffee off of Perkins. Not only do they have phenomenal service, but their coffee and delicious treats will keep you going back as a regular customer. If you want to experience the nature and get away from reality take a trip to Tunica Hills about an hour outside of Baton Rouge. The creeks and trails are not only a great workout, but you truly experience the beauty and nature of our state. If you enjoy live music and great Mexican food, Superior Grill off of Government Street is where you should go! Their food and drinks are spectacular and who wouldn’t want a free concert with friends?! My favorite LSU experience during the summer has to be utilizing the UREC. Normally during the school year I am so busy with other things, I forget about the many activities other than working out they offer. My friends and I rented a canoe last summer and took an afternoon adventure canoeing around the LSU lakes! Experiences like these are the ones that remind me why Baton Rouge is truly more than a college campus. Start your summer bucket list and enjoy your time in Baton Rouge! IMG_0693

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CHANGE Break Journey

ChangeMeet Shannon Matzke, a sophomore Coastal Environmental Science major at LSU. Shannon has been involved as a CHANGE Break: Georgia 2015 Team Leader, Tiger Remedy Secretary, Research Assistant in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences throughout her college career! 

Before spring break, I had never climbed a mountain, used an axe, or gone for a week without running water. Well, CHANGE Break: Georgia 2015 changed that. Over spring break, a group of 8 LSU students and 2 advisors traveled to northern, rural Georgia to do maintenance on the Appalachian Trail. I am lucky to have been part of an amazing group of people and to have gone on such an unforgettable trip.

My CHANGE Break journey began in late fall of 2014 when I received an email from Campus Life about participating in an environmental service trip over spring break. Being a tree hugger, I was immediately enticed. I had recently changed my major to Coastal Environmental Science and thought that the experience would be a good introduction into my new career path. I went to the interview and was not only accepted for the trip, but I was also chosen as a team leader. And so I began working with members of campus life and my co-leader to prepare for the far-off trip to Georgia. The first meeting with the full group came and went. We learned each other’s names, discussed the meaning of service, and participated in Geaux Big together. In Change 5the usual way of things, before we knew it, we were packing up a 15 passenger van at 4 am the day after Easter about to embark on an experience that we knew little about with a group that we were just getting to know. We were all there for different reasons. I was there because I love the environment and will do anything I can to help it, some were avid hikers, some were looking for an alternative to the usual beach trip, and some were looking to pad their resumes. We pulled away from LSU vowing to leave our fears, reservations, and nerves behind. We spent the next 10 hours sleeping, changing the radio station, and watching the flat land change into hills and eventually the Appalachian Mountains.

When we arrived in Suches, Georgia, we were more than ready to finally get out and stretch our legs, but the final miles were not what we expected. The sun was just beginning to set, and we were driving into some of the thickest fog that I had ever seen. As we drove up the winding mountains, sometimes right on the edge of a thousand foot drip, I could not help but close my eyes and hope that our advisor who was driving had some sort of experience driving in the mountains. We slowly made our way, and when we finally pulled up to our cabin, we were tired and carsick but also ready to check out the place that we would call home for the next week. We were greeted by Pat and David, two members of the Georgia Appalachian Trial Club who had been married for over 50 years and would soon impact our trip more than we could have imagined. They told us about themselves, their children, their jobs and all about the Appalachian Trail. When Marion, the GATC (Georgia Appalachian Trail Club) trail supervisor arrived, we entered the cabin and were pleasantly surprised and especially happy to learn that we had a fridge to use. We went to bed early that night (which became our routine for the whole trip) and were all excitedly wondering what the next day would bring.

Getting ready for the daChange 2y with 9 other people is no easy task when there is only one small bathroom to change in, but we made it work and at 8:30 Marion was at knocking on our door ready to lead us to our first work site. We followed him in our van up a mountain trying to keep up and quickly learned that most of the GATC members were fearless when it came to driving on the mountains. We parked at the base of a mountain, split into groups, grabbed our hard hats and tools (that we had no idea how to use) and set off. I was in a group with Pat, David and Marion along with two other LSU students. We hiked a short distance and jumped right into our tasks. Well I should say that we were ready to jump in, but in reality we had no idea what we were doing. We watched Marion dig out “dips” in the trail which were indentions in the soil to allow water to drain off of the trail instead of pooling up. We listened as David explained to us how to use a Pulaski, fire rake, and Pickmatic. We saw Pat work harder and longer than any man out there. By the time lunch rolled around, we were getting the hang of the work, even though we had only completed one or two dips. We followed the GATC members along the trail and headed up to Preacher Mountain to eat with the rest of the team. I will never forget that lunch because that was the first time that I had climbed a mountain and the first time that I had ever been so nervous that someone would fall off of a mountain once we reached the top. When we got to our lunch spot, we met up with our friends who were all sitting on this boulder-like area on the side of Preacher. We had an amazing view, and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch except for the times that people dropped phones and hard hats and sprinted to the edge of the rock to grab them. We all survived that lunch and soon were back on the trail getting more proficient with the tools and starting to understand how the work we were doing would impact the AT (Appalachian Trail). When we were though, we headed out to the parking lot to enjoy Pat’s famous homemade cookies and chat with the GATC members. One of my favorite parts of the trip was learning about the members. The GATC consists of mostly retired men (and a few amazing women like Pat) who for the most part over 60. The men we worked with were all about 70 years old, and we struggled to keep up with their hiking pace and work ethic. I think that we all decided that the key to eternal youth is to do trail work after retirement.

The days continued with Change 5much of the same events as the first. We drove on a mountain, hiked, worked, and went to sleep around 9 pm. We met new GATC members, all with new stories to tell and things to teach us, hiked new mountains, and did different kinds of trail work. One day, we went up Springer Mountain, the start of the AT, and did rock work. We used sledgehammers to crush rocks to fill in gaps in the trail, and we used ropes to maneuver rocks that weighed hundreds of pounds into the right positions to build steps in the trail for hikers. We got to saw and chop roots, and at the end of the day we were able to see a visible difference in the trail. After our work, the GATC members were very excited to take us down the trail to see the privy and shelter where hikers can stay the night. We got to hear about the members’ hiking experiences. We learned who had hiked the whole trail and who had only done sections, who liked to use walking sticks and who thought they were for amateurs, and who stayed in shelter and who used tents. We also received lots of tips and tricks, mostly given to us at the expense of other hikers. When someone hiked by with a pack that was too big, the members pointed him out, and there was always an eye roll when the rare barefoot hiker would come through. They told us that the AT is 2100 miles and that only 20% of the hikers who intend on going all the way to Maine actually make it. Learning about the trail itself made us appreciate the GATC members and the work that they do even more.

We spent a total of three days doing trail work. We were given one planned off day and took another day off when it was raining. On our first off day, we took the scariest drive yet to a beautiful swinging bridge and had lunch there and did some exploring. We left and went to dinner with Bev and Olin, two GATC members. Bev and Olin have been opening their home to students working over spring break for 14 years. We were able to shower, for which we could not thank them enough, and Bev made spaghetti for us. They shared stories about their work on the trial, their family, and their travels. I loved hearing about all of the places they had been. Years ago, they decided that they wanted to visit every US national park in the country. There are over 50 parks, and they have less than 10 left. Olin is an avid photographer, so when it was time to leave, he brought out his camera and tripod for a group picture. When he saw the selfie stick that we had brought with us, we could tell that he preferred his tried and true tripod method. We all laughed along with Bev as Olin reluctantly joined in the selfie stick picture after we had taken one with his camera. We left Bev and Olin’s feeling clean and full and went to sleep late that night (late being around 10pm)Change 3

When it finally came time to leave Sunday morning, we all had to typical end of trip feelings. We felt like we had been in Georgia forever and also like we had just gotten there, and we joked that we were ready to “get back to civilization” but also were not ready to leave our mountain paradise. As we drove away, I couldn’t help but feel sad to leave the GATC members who had become our friends and the serene mountain life that I had grown to love. We all did a lot of reflecting during the experience and really thought about the meaning of service and how our view of service had changed after this trip. We came to the realization that, while we were doing worthwhile work that will make a difference in the environment, we were really the ones who were being served. Our interactions with the GATC and our time in the mountains helped us to conquer any fears that we had and to leave behind our insecurities. After climbing Blood Mountain, the highest peak on the AT in Georgia at 4000 ft, moving boulders, and crushing rocks into smithereens, you gain self-confidence that you did not have before you conquered these things. We returned to Baton Rouge after a drive that seemed to fly by, and we all went our separate ways. We recently had our last team meeting which was filled with laughter, reminiscing, and homemade king cake. Although we all signed up for CHANGE Break for different reasons, every one of us finished the journey with an unforgettable experience thatcan only be understood by the other members of the group, a group which has formed a bond of friendship that will transcend the week that we spent together in Georgia.

Change 4

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From The Other Side Of The World To Baton Rouge

Untitled1 Meet Jamie Keehn, a 25-year-old Senior from Rockhampton, Australia majoring in Sports Administration. Jamie is student athlete here at LSU and loves to get out, travel, and meet new people.

Studying Abroad

Deciding to come to LSU and study has been one of the best choices I have ever made. From the moment I stepped on campus this place has been home for me. After visiting for a weekend in early 2012 my mind was made up that this was going to be the college of choice for me. I couldn’t imagine my experience here at LSU going any better. The amount of people I have met during my 3 years are people I will continue to stay in touch with no matter where I end up, it has made my college experience that much better.

Southern Culture

All I can say is this, THE FOOD HERE IS AMAZING! This is one of the first things I talk about when I head back to Australia and people ask me what it like is over here in Louisiana. Nothing beats the south when it comes to delicious home cooked food that warms the heart. From boudin to red beans and rice, some of the simplest things in the world to make are some of my favorite. But let’s be honest nothing beats a nice chicken and sausage gumbo on a cold winter’s night. My favorite pastime to do when it comes to eating food is having a crawfish boil. Nothing compares to sitting around a table with a big group of people, chatting away, and enjoying a nice spring afternoon while pealing hundreds of little crawfish until your hands are all cut, sore, and your belly is full to the brim.

Mardi Gras

Anyone from the south is going to tell you that Mardi Gras is the best time of year to be in Louisiana, but hear it from the Australian, it’s the best time of year to be in Louisiana rather than anywhere else in the world! The atmosphere is alive, the brass bands are playing all day and night, and it’s one big celebration. The idea of catching beads from a float driving past was a little weird when I was first told about it, but now sign me up that is the best part. Nothing beats being out on the parade routes and catching handfuls of colorful beads and competing to see who can catch the most.

Why LSU

People ask me every day the simple question of “Why come all that way to go to LSU” and my answer is simple, Why not? I could not have asked for a better place to move to. The people are great, the hospitality is even better, the food is amazing, and most of all its LSU football! Where else would I want to play in front of 100,000 people on a Saturday night, in the loudest football stadium in the world?! It wasn’t a hard choice for me.

In closing, there are more than enough things that I have enjoyed while I have been here at LSU. It has felt like home for the past 3 years and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to enjoy my time at college.Untitled

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3 REASONS TO ATTEND PARENT & FAMILY PROGRAMS EVENTS

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Meet a tiger momma, Peggy Frazier, from Lacassine, Louisiana. She is the wife of Ralph Frazier and proud Mom of Cameron Frazier, Petroleum Engineering major and an LSU Ambassador. Peggy remains involved with Parent & Family Programs by serving as a member of the LSU Family Association Council. She works part time billing for rural medical clinic and enjoys to spend a lot of time travelling. Peggy Loves Purple and Lives Gold!

We recently attended the LSU Family Association Spring Event hosted by Parent & Family Programs. It was our second year in a row attending the Spring Event and we intend to do it every year until our son graduates from LSU, or we become too feeble to attend (which may actually happen if he keeps changing his major). If you thought this was something you could miss out on, here are a few reasons to change your mind!

1. FOOD—and by food I mean there are mass amounts, you won’t go hungry! At the most recent Spring Event, boiled crawfish, jambalaya, corn, and potatoes were catered…Do you really need to see any other reason to attend?

OK…I guess you do………

2. COMRADERIE—you really can’t beat sitting around with other parents who can feel your pain.RandP at Spring Event

The first Spring Event we attended, we commiserated with other freshman parent peers about how much we missed our Tiger and how ‘the empty nest’ is actually a place, a very lonely place. We asked tentatively if their Tigers were calling them daily and breathed a sigh of relief when we realized we weren’t the only ones who had missed hearing our Tiger’s voice and looking forward to that next “ding” of a text message. It was comforting when us Moms were able to slip away and share our tricks of the trade to cope with our students being away from home. (A quick tip, I enjoy watching the home football games and trying to pick my tiger out of the crowd!)

Our second Spring Event went a little differently…we had some seniority (as well as some perspective) and were able to walk around and assure the newbies that time will indeed heal their pain. Don’t get me wrong…us Moms still had to sneak away and update each other on all of our tricks!

3. TIGER TIME!— It’s great to have your tiger with you at the Parent & Family Programs events. Not only do I love spending time with my tiger, but I enjoy the opportunity to get to know other tigers and their parents. Throughout the events coordinated by Parent & Family Programs we have gotten to know so many other families from all around the country!

P.S. One thing we did both years was to buy a couple of extra tickets for our tiger’s friends whose parents were not able to attend. There is something very heartwarming about spending time with the folks who spend time with your tiger, and what a great group of kids!IMG_2765 (2)

Surely you can see why family events are a MUST DO! It’s not too early to start planning for the next upcoming event, Family Weekend, which is October 2-4. SAVE THE DATE!!

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Why Studying Abroad Was the Best Decision I Have Ever Made

HeadshotMeet Meagan Johnson. Meagan is a 21 year old junior from Hackberry, Louisiana. She’s majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. She’s involved in multiple organizations such as LSU Ambassadors, Collegiate 4-H, and University Baptist Church Collegiate Group!

We all know that college is about self-discovery and figuring out what you want to do in life. It’s a time when you can try new things, meet new people and do things you’ll never be able to do again. The memories you make in college will stay with you forever!

However, there is one option in my opinion that sticks out more than all the rest… studying abroad. This is an amazing opportunity for young adults to have a life experience in another country that they may never experience otherwise. This can be beneficial for many reasons giving students something that sets them apart.

Studying abroad in Paris, France was the best decision I ever made at LSU. So I’ve listed different reasons why studying abroad will be the best thing you ever do!

1. Historic Places

One great thing about traveling overseas is getting to see so many great and historic sites the world has to offer. You read about the Roman Empire, gladiator games in the Coliseum and even the building of the Tower of London, but nothing compares to seeing the real thing in person. There are so many places that have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years and being able to see them in person is simply incredible. You can literally reach out and touch years of history with your bare hands.

2. Culture

It’s really important to know that there are many other types of people in the world who live and act according to different customs than our own. There are different cultures out there and it can be really beneficial for students to see the differences first hand. Being able to learn and exist in another culture can be a great life skill to have for the future.paris

3. Independence

Any college student will tell you that one of the best things about college is the new freedom you have. You get to make your own choices and decide who you want to be. By living in another country, you will find this new sense of independence that you never thought you would. It’s very satisfying to know that you can navigate through a country where you don’t speak the language or even go on an adventure through the city all by yourself. With that new self-confidence, you’ll have the courage to do things you never thought you would!

4. Experience of a Lifetime

The main reason and possibly the most important reason why studying abroad is so great is because of the once in a lifetime experience you will have. One day you’ll have a job, family and other responsibilities that may keep you from being able to take advantage of an opportunity like this. You will also never again have the chance to go to a foreign country with a group of your peers all experiencing the same thing. This experience will stay with you forever along with the amazing memories you will make!

I know the thought of this can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming, but I can assure you that if you decide to take advantage of this great opportunity LSU has to offer you will not be sorry. It was definitely the best decision I have ever made!

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Extra Love

unnamed-3Meet Kendra Turley. Kendra is a 22 yea old senior from Houston, Texas. She’s majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. She’s involved in multiple organizations on campus such as LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES, Tiger TV and much more!

We all know that February is the month of love. Whether that’s a love for king cake, crawfish, a significant other or family members. Everyone is a little more understanding, a little more passionate and a little more caring around this time. Love fills the air!

However, for students… this is the month that we take our first exams. This is the month where it gets a little bit harder to balance work, school and a social life. This is the month where we are in desperate need of EXTRA love!

As a senior, I’ve experienced my fair share of Valentine’s Days at LSU. So I’ve listed some ways that you can show your student some “extra love” during this holiday!

L – Listen

We will have a lot of emotions during this time. It might be excitement. It might be nervousness. It might be disappointment. It might be loneliness. Whatever it is, we will call you and want to talk about it. The most important thing you can do is listen. Listen to us vent. Let us get it all off of our chest.

O- Offer

Offer advice. We may be too stubborn to admit it sometimes but we really do take your advice. Offer support. It’s easy to get the feeling like “we’re on our own and all alone”. Remind us of the support system we have back at home. Offer money! Now wouldn’t be such a bad time to transfer some change into that bank account (even though we over-drafted last month).images

V- Visit

Do not hesitate to pay your student a visit! Seeing the family can be the turning point in a student’s semester. Sometimes they need to realize how much they miss that annoying little brother. Whether it’s for a couple of hours or a couple of days, family visits are the best.

E- Eateries

Food is our friend! It gets us through everything! it is the answer to all of our problems. Take us out to eat. Send gift cards to our favorite restaurants. Surprise us with a cookie cake or a care package! You’ll be surprised how big of an impact goldfish and gummy worms can have.

Now, this is just a guideline. Every student is unique. However, one thing I know for sure is that every student wants to feel a little bit of #extralove from their family during this time.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Love Purple, Live Gold…and Green too!

MG PhotoMeet Margaret Vienne, a first-year student in the Masters of Higher Education Administration program. She earned her Bachelors degree in English Writing from Loyola University New Orleans in May of 2013. She hails from Natchitoches, LA and is currently serving as a graduate assistant for activities for Campus Life. Margaret enjoys LSU football, eating pancakes at Louie’s Café, making homemade King Cake, and meeting new students!

Below you will find some of my helpful tips as you prepare to navigate the Big Easy and Baton Rouge this Mardi Gras season.

  1. Kneaux Your Stuff: Take time to learn a bit about this crazy thing we call Mardi Gras. Your time in the Big Easy will be much more enjoyable if you know a little something about what you are partaking in. New Orleans has a rich history that’s worth exploring. Some key things to learn about include: Flambeauxs, Mardi Gras ladders, history of the krewes, the story behind king cakes, the Mardi Gras Indians, and the meaning behind purple, green, and gold.
  2. “It’s a Potty in the N.O.L.A.”: So you put your hands up, they’re playing your song, and then realize you need to use the restroom. Bathroom lines can be long so it is wise to identity a nearby restroom prior to the start of the parade or buy a port-a-potty armband that allows you to use a nearby restroom all day. Now, with that being said, the necessary resources at these port-a-potty spots often run out so be sure to bring your own hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
  3. There’s an App for That: While cell service can be spotty, there are some great apps out there that are good to have during Mardi Gras. WDSU’s Mardi Gras Parade Tracker and Find My Friends are a few of my go to apps during Mardi Gras. Another tech tip: You will have little to no access to outlets while on the route so it is wise to invest in a portable phone charger.
  4. Early Bird Gets the Beads: Arrive early to the parade route to ensure that you get a good spot. Seasoned Mardi Gras goers and locals have this down to a science. Chances are their spot on the route while be staked out hours prior to your arrival. They know where to be and when to be there to ensure the best parade viewing. Arriving early also allow you to get to know the group next to you, identity the nearest restroom, and grab some sustenance while a friend holds down your spot. Arriving early has its benefits!HDRtist Pro Rendering - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtistpro/
  5. It’s Raining Beads and Doubloons: New Orleans weather can be unpredictable so be sure to check the weather the morning before you head out to the route. Comfortable rubber boots are ideal for rainy carnival weather.
  6. Let Them Eat King Cake: Restaurants will have long wait times so it is wise to access the local food booths at various churches and businesses along the route. The prices aren’t bad, the wait is bearable, and it is a great way to support the local community. Plus, you don’t want to spend the majority of your day inside of a restaurant when you could be outside experiencing the parades!
  7. Wear Watcha Wanna: Don’t be afraid to spice up your parade wardrobe with a tutu, fun leggings, a classic Perlis Mardi Gras polo, or any clothing item that gets you in the spirit of the season! You will see plenty of costumes along the route. Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking.
  8. Don’t Take the Road Less Traveled: Always walk in large groups, park in a safe area, and plan your transportation ahead of time. Most major roads around the parade routes will be closed to traffic and it will be important for you to allow time for parking. In the event that you are separated from your group, plan a meeting place for your group. Also, be sure to keep your personal items on the front of your person. A fanny pack is a great Mardi Gras bag! It allows you to keep your items safe and your hands free for prime bead catching.
  9. R-E-S-P-E-C-T…the Police: The police are there to keep you safe. Do not run into the streets while parades are rolling. A bead or moon pie is not worth a crushed hand or foot. Also, be sure you do not relieve yourself in public or get into a fight. Not only do these acts go against the mission and values of LSU, but both will result in time behind bars and anyone put in jail during Mardi Gras weekend is not allowed out until the day after Mardi Gras. This is no joke.
  10. Pick a Side, Any Side: Someone may ask you if you are neutral ground side or sidewalk side. They are asking you which side of the street you will be viewing the parade from. People take this seriously and rarely deviate from their long-held tradition of watching parades from a specific side. As for me, I identify as a neutral ground side gal!

Happy Mardi Gras, Ya’ll!

New Orleans Parade Schedule http://www.nola.com/mardigras/parades/

Baton Rouge Parade Schedule: http://www.mardigras.com/parades/index.html?location=baton-rouge

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Tips for “Geauxing Green” at LSU

10606277_10202321316147773_4548069616770121239_nMeet Josh Finch, a first-year student in the Master’s of Higher Education Administration program. He earned his Bachelors degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University in May of 2014. An Michigander at heart, Josh has encountered many cultural differences in the bayou! He has grown quite fond of SEC football, 70 degree weather in January, and Southern hospitality.

“Going green” is a buzzword that can be heard daily in college life. As a new Tiger myself, I went on a quest to discover how I could best “geaux green” in the land of purple and gold. I learned a whole lot from this too. To be green doesn’t mean that you have to be a vegan, hippie, who washes their hair with a homemade apple cider vinegar recipe. Going green is simple, easy, cheap, and makes you feel like you can pat yourself on the back. Here are some simple ways to Love Purple, Live Gold, and Stay Green at LSU!

Ditch Bottled Water

This is a touchy subject for people, but bottled water is the worst. Now before you check out and stop reading, hear me out! About 80% of water bottles are thrown into the trash. The energy, natural resources, and landfill space that result from bottled water are insane. Plus a lot of the time you’re just drinking filtered tap water (although we’re tricked to believe it’s spring water from the pristine peaks of some exotic mountain).

Find a reusable water bottle (glass if you’re really feeling it –always BPA-free plastic) and use that! There is no shortage of water fountains at LSU. If you’re set on the need for filtered water, invest in a water filter pitcher (or even one of the water filter reusable water bottles!) and fill up before you head out to class. Consider investing in a reusable travel mug for your coffee while you’re at it! They’re cool, sustainable, and a lot of places on campus will give you a discount!

Get Walking!

LSU is a pedestrian campus during business hours – this means that most cars cannot drive across campus without going all the way around during the school day. Get your steps in for the day and take a walk to class, lunch, the grocery store, or wherever you need to go. This saves gas, time in some cases, and gets your blood moving. If you want a speedy method of transportation – invest in a bicycle. They can cut though the areas of campus that cars can’t and you can usually find some pretty cheap at the bike auction every fall!

Geaux Thrifting

Thrift shopping is the best. You can find tons of amazing things at awesome prices. It’s hip to rock a unique thrift store sweater in the winter months, and you can find shorts and LSU gear galore in the fall. It’s super cheap, it’s hip, it cuts down on waste, and many thrift stores support local charities and help the community. You can find clothes, decorations, books (not typically the school kind), and the random awesome things that you can’t leave the store without purchasing.

LSU is a great place to live and is on it’s way to becoming a more sustainable, earth friendly place for students to grow. You don’t have to change your whole life to geaux green, but with just a few simple tricks, you can make a difference!

Other Tips and Tricks to Geaux Green at LSU

  • Use cold water when doing your laundry and only do full loads
  • Use sustainable detergent if you’re feeling extra earth friendly
  • Take advantage of e-books or purchase used textbooks (amazon smile donates to charity when you buy through them!)
  • If you buy used, look for the closest location shipped from that’s still priced well
  • Take reusable bags with you to the grocery store
  • Check out the Baton Rouge Farmer’s Market every Saturday for fresh local produce
  • Purchase low-power florescent or LED light bulbs for your lamps
  • Reuse paper and print double sided
  • Donate some of the clothes that you’re going to leave at home and never wear again. Someone will love it!

Geaux Green

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How To Support Your Tiger During Finals!

tcMeet Tori Callais! Tori is a Women and Gender Studies Major with a Social Work and Sociology Minor. She is from Denham Springs Louisiana and will be serving as the 2015 Orientation Team Leader! Tori is also involved with LSU Ambassadors, LSU Women’s Chorale, and NSCS. 

You start to notice your student is drinking an excess of coffee, they begin to take on the smell of caffeine and fear, they have currently set up house in the library, they are beginning to only wear pajamas in public, you see their social media accounts flood with hashtags like #clubmid #finalsprobs #letthecurvebeinmyfavor and you may or may not have heard from them in a couple days…what on earth could this mean? It means it is Finals Week at LSU.

Finals week is the one thing in between a relaxing holiday break and finishing out the semester. As much as the images of endless sleep and countless home cooked meals over break are in every student’s thoughts, they sometime are not enough to take the edge off the “week that must not be named.” So what do you do as a Parent to make sure your student is less stressed throughout this week?

Send positive messages to your students

Hours upon hours of studying tends to lead to some pretty thorough procrastination. Every Facebook page from their best friend in pre-k to their friends in college have been scrutinized and inspected and some throwback pictures have made its way to everyone’s’ newsfeed. With that being said, your student is more or less checking their social media accounts and/or phones frequently to take a break from the daunting task of studying. Leaving a word of encouragement on their Facebook wall or shooting them a meaningful text can help to alleviate some stress from their plates. Seeing positive words can really push a student to keep working hard when the week begins winding down.

Send care packages (through the residential halls/apartments)

Some days can seem like the end of the world during Finals, especially if it is your first college finals week. Walking back to your room in a residential hall and finding that you have a surprise package from a loved one can turn a bad day into a good one in less than a second. LSU Residential Life offers care packages during finals week in order to help family members support their student in midst of their studies. On Residential Life’s website are step by step instructions on how to send a package to their particular hall or apartment on campus (see below for directions). Opening a package full of candy, cards, maybe a stuffed animal or two can help stress levels decrease for a good measure of time. It adds a light to the end of the finals tunnel! 

Send some home cooked food022df06c7f34b7e346e698eabfc76d1e87c2140761c7e4b1623fdc540870265a

My personal favorite that my parents make sure to help me out with during finals is home cooked food. That’s right, I said HOME cooked food. My dad sends me “rations” as we like to say throughout finals so that even while I’m studying day and night, I still have a little piece of home with me to comfort me. They are all in microwavable Tupperware that fit perfectly in my mini fridge, and boy does it come in handy when days seem to last longer than before. The dining halls do an excellent job of preparing top quality food especially during heavy testing periods, but sometimes the smell of my dad’s gumbo is enough to make me forget about that calculus final that is coming up.

Finals week can seem like a lifetime or a blink of an eye, but having loved ones support you in some way throughout the process is a feeling that really does stay with you throughout college. And if your students ever forget to say it, thank each of y’all for constant love and reassurance that we can do this!

Directions to send care packages to your Tiger on Campus in the Residence Halls & Apartments: 

All on-campus residents will be assigned an LSU Box at Ricoh Mail & Printing Services in the LSU Student Union, and the charge is posted on the student fee bill.

To claim a box and key, visit Ricoh in room 101 in the LSU Student Union. This box will be able to receive both regular mail and packages. The student’s name and mailbox number must be on all mail and packages. Students will receive a pick up notification via e-mail when a package arrives and should bring a picture ID to claim packages.

To send mail and packages to an LSU Box, please follow this address format:
Student’s Name
101 LSU Student Union Bldg.

LSU Box # _ _ _ _ Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Residential communities will accept deliveries (from local businesses only) of fresh cut flowers, cut fruit bouquets, or cookie bouquets. For the safety and security of residents, the residential front desk staff is unable to verify, identify, or disseminate the contact information (including phone numbers) of specific residents. If the delivery agency requires a signature or direct contact with the receiving resident, the aforementioned student’s phone number must have already been provided with the order by the ordering party. After receiving delivery, the front desk worker will notify the resident through their LSU e-mail account that they have a package to pick up at the front desk. The Department of Residential Life is not responsible for lost packages.

Use the following address format when receiving perishables (ONLY those mentioned above):

Student’s name
Room number and building name

Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA 70803

You can also view this link and check out page 22 for info on mail delivery! http://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/reslife/files/2013/06/LivingOnCampusHandbook.pdf

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Finals Week. Ohhhhh Finals Week.

10485965_875397085826157_5158197220351958095_oMeet Drake Boudreaux from Lafayette, Louisiana! Drake is studying Mass Communication Digital Advertising and minoring in Business and Visual Communication. Drake is involved as a LSU Ambassador, Head Parent Orientation Leader, Student Government, and STRIPES!

I doubt any other combination of two words would evoke such a wide spread negative response.  Possibly “root canal” or “roll tide,” but who’s to say? The simple fact of the matter is a week full of tests designed to reveal students’ knowledge on a semester’s worth of information in a variety of subjects can be quite daunting. Although the amount of information may be overwhelming, our grades may have a first class ticket on the struggle bus, or no amount of coffee seems to be efficient enough to carry us in to hour 8 of studying, there are a few finals week pointers that I feel make it easier to come out on top.

Make an individualized study plan

Where do you study most efficiently? In what ways do you learn large amounts of information? What people hinder or distract you from concentrating? No one knows you better than yourself. I find it extremely important to sit down before finals week begins and layout my plan of action. I decide where I am going to study, how I am going to study, who I am going to study with, what grades I need to make on which exams, how far in advance I need to study, which exams I need to focus on, for what period of time will I study? I find it incredibly important to be honest with myself when doing this.

Utilize Resources

LSU’s campus is flooding with resources to help students. With things like the Center for Academic Success, the tutorial shell center, Middleton library, study groups, and professor’s office hours and study sessions, we as students have access to assistance. There is no shame in using these resources, especially in preparation for final exams. keep-calm-finals-week-ahead

Stay Positive

Finals week is no fun. But keeping a level head and remaining optimistic makes getting through finals week much easier. When all is said and done, I remain confident in my preparation through the entire semester and I don’t let any of my exams have power over my attitude. No matter how much time I spend studying, I try to work to a point where I can say, “I know this material as well as I can.”

Reward Yourself

On the same note as remaining positive, I find it important to recognize when I achieved my goal and reward myself for doing so. Whether you set little goals for every hour of studying, or one big one immediately following your last exam, it’s great to have something to work toward or look forward to.

When all is said and done, the key to conquering finals week is preparation. And if I’m being quite honest, most of the time the build up or anxiety surrounding finals week is actually worse than the exams themselves. As long as students maintain a level head and put in the necessary amount of effort, finals week is very doable.

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